There are a few things that put people off the idea of composting toilets. They are often high, like the Sun-mar designs, or they are low but people can’t deal with the idea that they are sitting a few inches above of a pile of poop, as you do in the Envirolet or Multoa.
Then there is this french design, the Ecodomeo, discovered on Toilet Tech, also a recent find. It is really nice to look at, with its curved plywood top and toilet paper holder. But the magic happens inside, where there is a conveyor belt (let's call it a poopscalator) that carries the poop away to a composting closet behind the toilet. So it is out of sight, out of mind, flush and forget, it's transported away like a flush toilet does but without the water.
Someone has to deal with it in that other room, but not very often, perhaps no more than once a year. And it is not so bad because it’s a urine separating toilet, so the poop doesn’t smell nearly as much or get nearly so disgusting. Geoff Hill of Toilet Tech explains why:
When urine mixes with fecal matter, excess ammonia create door and toxic conditions in the waste. When urine is diverted prior to mixing with fecal matter, it can be safely treated by onsite soil. Fecal matter that hasn’t been soaked with urine can be consumed by a wide range of invertebrates (worms, nematodes, and mites) without any bulking agent. Humans are the only mammal on the planet to pee on their poo… We source separate our trash and recycling; It’s equally important to separate our bodily wastes.
Composting toilets are not maintenance free and this one might well need more than most, what with scrapers on the poopscalator that have to be cleaned and worms that have to be wrangled, if you are into vermicomposting. But having a foot pedal operated conveyor belt that poopscalates the poop horizontally, will solve a lot of installation problems.
It might be great for tiny houses, where many people keep their poop inside in sawdust bucket toilets; instead, deal with it outside the building, although at $4,000 it costs more than some tiny houses we have shown.
It also might also be terrific for houses and apartments, where service people could come and deal with it, sort of like the nightsoil people did hundreds of years ago; as we hit peak phosphorus we may find again that there is money in pee and poop.
And it certainly is the prettiest composting toilet we have ever shown on TreeHugger.
Want to learn more about poop? Read our History of the Bathroom.